No reception place for DD

(92 Posts)
skandi1 Wed 17-Apr-13 19:49:24

So the email verdict is in and they were unable to offer a place to my DD who is due to start reception in September.

What does this mean and what should I do next?? Any experiences please as I am desperate and so sad as this isn't the start I had hoped for, for my pfb. Also any useful advice. I am in London and have 6 primaries each with 90 place reception intake all less than half a mile from me. How can this be??

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 17-Apr-13 22:26:53

Hello
Just poking our heads round the door here to advise you of our
primary admissions webchat
HTH and good luck with it all

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Wed 17-Apr-13 22:36:51

The places on the waiting list should be held in order of the application priority (eg siblings, distance etc) and staff should have no impact on waiting list position. If they break these rules, everyone ahead of the admitted pupil on the list would have be able to appeal.

pooka Wed 17-Apr-13 22:41:06

I think at this stage waiting lists are operated by the lea and even when they go to the schools (if they do, further up the line) it is strictly on admissions criteria I.e. distance, siblings etc.

skandi1 Wed 17-Apr-13 23:36:36

Thanks everyone. I have had some wine and I am trying not to panic.

I am in borough of bromley in Beckenham if that helps. I had no idea it would
Be this bad. So many schools on the doorstep and no place. Argh.
Olivia. Thanks. I will look at web chat.
I have now spoken to DH who was very unimpressed with the whole saga and has told me to phone all the independent schools tomorrow to see if we can get her a place in one of those. It will bankrupt us to send her and later DS private but if its that or home schooling what kind of a choice is that?

nancy75 Wed 17-Apr-13 23:42:17

skandi1, I live in bromley too and have to agree it is getting worse. Do you mind me asking which schools you put as I do know of some local schools that often have spaces that you might not have put down

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 18-Apr-13 00:21:45

If it would put your mind at rest, ask the LEA to confirm the distance between your home and each school and the distance at which the last place was awarded under the distance criterion. If you live closer than the last place awarded, and it was a place awarded on distance rather than a sibling or looked-after child, that'sastringent indicative of a mistake.

ComeIntoTheGardenMaud Thu 18-Apr-13 00:22:45

Err, strongly indicative.

noramum Thu 18-Apr-13 06:34:50

Nancy, if one of the 6 school has no space then Bromley looks at all schools in the whole of the borough to see who has a free one. If Skandi got no place at all it means the situation is a really bad one.

As I said, we had a bulge class but can't accommodate another one. A school in .bromley North just changed from 2 to 3 entry form.

We looked at Beckenham 3 years ago when we moved and ai think it was Balgowan where you have to live on the doorstep to get in.

nancy75 Thu 18-Apr-13 08:03:17

Nora um, yes I understand that, however if the op is going to ring schools to get on waiting lists it would help her to know that schools like pickhurst usually have a large catchment and a fast moving waiting list, while a school like clare house or high field will be massively over subscribed and have much longer slower moving lists.

skandi1 Thu 18-Apr-13 09:41:48

Argh what a morning so far. Spoke to education people at bromley. Very nice but I couldn't actually speak to the admissions people until 2pm.

The education lady seemed to think that they were trying to organise extra classes to go into a junior school. So this school is 4 miles from my home and DD would be with children aged 7 to 11!!

Please someone tell me this lady is wrong and if not that this is illegal.

Phoned around the schools and bromley controls the waiting list so no joy there.

This is a hideous nightmare!! How can this be? It doesn't make sense. I am 300 yards from a school where last years catchment was 500 yards.

Am now phoning independent schools. Sigh.

tiggytape Thu 18-Apr-13 09:48:43

skiandi1 - try not to panic. The people you need to talk to are the admissions people at 2pm. The front desk staff can field calls and give general advice (and may even know vague plans about bulge classes) but they aren't going to be able to give proper details and advice as the admissions people will.
The same applies to waiting lists. The front desk staff won't know and you'll need to get the information from the admissions team.
Hopefully you will find you are top (or close to top) of at least one waiting list this afternoon.

skandi1 Thu 18-Apr-13 10:03:11

Tiggy. Thanks.

It wasn't the front desk, it was a lady within the education dept I spoke to although she didn't deal with primary admissions

Fingers crossed she is completely wrong.

Most of the prep schools are full with waiting lists.

However I have shamelessly used DHs work position and his name (md of a major uk plc) and it has yielded a result. We could get DD into one of the local independent schools subject to a meeting with head master. Now I just need to find the money to pay for it. I guess it means putting poor DS into nursery to I can work to pay for it.

We moved here and paid big money for a house thinking we has lots of schools on our doorstep. And yet we could have saved ourselves all of this and just signed up for one of the preps where we used to live as this is how we are ending up anyway.

Guess we can manage by not having holidays and selling one of the cars and me working again. I still find this shocking.

ohforfoxsake Thu 18-Apr-13 10:10:08

This is the first wave of offers isn't it? So places will come up after the acceptance date has passed. It's not without hope (DC1 got his place in his %231 school in July from being somewhere like 11th on the waiting list).

Find out where you are on the list and sit tight. Places come up on the first day of term - some people simply dont show up and tell the school. I was going to homeschool until a place came up - would you consider that?

ohforfoxsake Thu 18-Apr-13 10:11:13

Not sure what happened there but it should say 'number 1 school' confused

afussyphase Thu 18-Apr-13 10:18:50

Check all the distances; it is very possible that you will find that a mistake has been made. LAs will give you the max distance of an offer made on the distance criterion. If any of these are farther than you, you should appeal. Don't change your whole life around to do independent schooling based on these first wave offers, as there can be a lot of changes between now and September. As for the junior school, I really don't think they would put a 4yo with 7yos! So don't worry about that. And they might open bulge classes at any of your 6 schools, too.

Check with your local authority about what they do to detect people who have pretended to live where they do not, or applied based on a temporary rental (one of those short-term 4-8 week lets, hotel rooms even, friends' houses, for example). No doubt admissions specialists will be along who know more than I do, but you might be able to appeal if offers were made to people who don't live in the area, and they displaced your child. With only 400m to a school with an intake of 90 it seems possible that these sorts of things are going on!

lottieandmia Thu 18-Apr-13 10:31:29

It's possible some people will decline their places yet, try not to panic.

tiggytape Thu 18-Apr-13 10:32:03

skiandi1 - it is nice to have an independent offer as a back-up if you can afford to as it can take away the horrible pressure of being on waiting lists for weeks.
You may end up liable for one term's fees if you don't get a waiting list offer soon but you may decide that is worth the money if it gives you a guaranteed plan B.

ohfor is right though - this is very early days. I was in the same situation as you last year (for secondary not primary) and eventually got 2 offers from different waiting lists. I am not minimising how bloody stressful hard the wait was but this is really just the start of a process of offers and acceptances that will carry on through the Summer and beyond.

afussy is also correct that you can double check for errors by asking for last distance offered at each school although I don't agree that not getting a place at a school so close definitely indicates cheating or mistakes. It is far more probable that half the places or more have been allocated to siblings which is quite legitimate and very common in London. At some schools it reduces catchment areas to 200m or less.

As for bulge classes - it is true some boroughs are considering pretty drastic solutions to house all the extra children they must find spaces for. Some areas are considering disused public buildings for example so I wouldn't say it beyond the realms of possibility that they may add classrooms at a junior school but, being 4 miles away, I think you are in a very good position to be given something closer to home anyway.

skandi1 Thu 18-Apr-13 10:33:29

Fox and fussy. Yes I will check distance this afternoon once I can speak to the lady in charge of admissions.

I would consider homeschooling until a place came up. I just feel bad for DD. she is desperate to make friends which she wouldn't do if I homeschool. None of the immediate neighbours have children DDs age (teenagers) and neither DH or I come from large families so no cousins at all.

The two closest schools confirm on their websites that they won't be doing bulge classes until 2014.

I have just spoken to DH and he is seething. Sadly it won't help as its not a case of just getting on the phone and speaking to people until you get a result.

Thanks so much to all of you for hand holding.

ohforfoxsake Thu 18-Apr-13 10:34:51

Schoolappeals.com was useful when we appealed having not got a place at our first choice (OK, appeals are rarely held up but I felt it was worth a shot).

ohforfoxsake Thu 18-Apr-13 10:39:11

DC1 went to the nursery of the school so I spoke to them about homeschooling an they were supportive. It's worth making contact with the schools as they will take over the waiting list at some point. I only ever saw homeschooling as a very temporary thing. I think it was better to hold off for the school we wanted, than start elsewhere and move - although this also works.
It's incredibly stressful, but VERY early days and it will come good.

I hope you will feel a bit more confident when you've spoken to the admissions people - fingers crossed you're at the top of the list and it's just playing the waiting game!

skandi1 Thu 18-Apr-13 10:43:09

Tiggy. Thanks. I guess I am just in shock that it would turn out like this.

I am hoping to know more once I speak to admissions again this afternoon.

Fox. I will look into appeals too.

MegBusset Thu 18-Apr-13 10:43:16

Don't panic smile The LEA will have to find her a place by September. As you are so close to 6 schools you will be very near the top of the waiting list for all of them. Individual schools have no say over which pupils are admitted - it is all handled by the LEA. Make sure via the LEA that you're on all the waiting lists you need to be, they should be able to tell you where you are on the list.

Then it will be a waiting game. Even if she is offered a place elsewhere in the borough, she can start there and still move when a place becomes free at one of your nearby schools. A friend of mine's DD moved schools the second week of term as one child hadn't turned up.

Snazzynewyear Thu 18-Apr-13 10:49:58

No advice but just wishing you luck with the waiting lists - everyone seems to agree it is a case of holding your nerve.

pooka Thu 18-Apr-13 10:52:24

When is her birthday? Could you keep her at preschool until she is 5, by which time is more than likely that a place will have come free.

I do thnk that a private school that is able to rustle up a place because of your husbands job doesn't sound amazing.

It's still very early days in terms of offers and organisation of bulge classes. Is terribly worrying and I can imagine you're panicking, but try not to make a knee jerk decision that will cost you hugely in the long run.

noramum Thu 18-Apr-13 10:58:00

Skandi, as the other say, don't panic. I know one girl who was on the waiting list of DD's school and moved from place 30+ to under 10 in a matter of days when the acceptance letters went back to the council.

Accept any place and keep her on the list for your local ones. September is still a while to go.

It is absolutely ridiculous. And I have to say it won't be better when they move to secondary unless Bromley builds another couple of school. There are huge new developments in Bromley but it seems nobody thought that in nice terrace house you have families with children instead of single people. So no school was built.

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